Finding perspective through traveling

Traveling is an incredible gift to pursue. It broadens your mind and teaches you how to survive outside of your comfort zone. It also exposes you to nature’s incredible wonders.  Once you’re ready to travel, you’ll realize that traveling gives you a broader perspective. Here are just some of the ways you can find perspective through traveling.

Appreciating the things you have

The laws of our land can never be fully appreciated until you leave for a country that’s more restrictive. Ever been to Dubai? If you’re planning to see the tallest building in the world and visit their stunning mosques, you’ll have to remember that holding hands with your spouse in public is forbidden.

It’s not just about the laws, however. Living in the Western world means having a lot more privileges than the average citizen in Kenya, Peru or Cambodia. When you’re traveling, much of the world will leave you in awe. You can take a trip to Kenya and enjoy the safaris, you can explore the architectural ruins of Cambodia, or you can visit the Inca ruins in Machu Picchu. Whatever your choice of travel is, however, you’ll come to realize that there are many have nots in this world. In fact, the “have nots” make up most of the world, and if you’re traveling, you probably have a lot more than most. This is something to be extremely grateful for.

There isn’t just one way of doing things

When you grow up in one town and live in that same town, you’re never exposed to different ways of doing things. When you travel the world, however, you’ll realize that there are different ways of educating children, there are different ways to dine, there are different ways to take care of the elderly. Every culture has a different approach to everyday life, and there is not just one right way. The beauty of seeing the world is understanding that you can learn from cultures and incorporate some of their ways into your own life.

Real life is different from what media tells you

If you have ever been to West Africa or East Africa, you’ll realize that what the media shows you is quite different from what the countries are actually like. There are adequate public schools, private schools, malls, cell phones and more. This can often jar with the primitive societies we expect to see. The reality is, unless you go to a country and see it for yourself, you probably have a skewed idea of what the place is really like.

You get to step out of your comfort zone

Traveling does mean a good amount of research. You need to figure out how to get to your hotel from your airport, how to get around the city and what things you shouldn’t do. In addition, you have to ask necessary questions. Is the city safe? Can you drink the water? What is the exchange rate? Should you get your money exchanged at the hotel or elsewhere? How many people speak English?

Once you finally land in your vacation spot and figure out how to get around, you’ll feel quite proud of yourself for having mastered how to get around in a new city and country. This kind of learning and risk taking can be incorporated into your daily life, too. You can try a new skill, go back to school or even go on road trips to places you’ve never visited.

Traveling around the world doesn’t just offer an escape and a chance to visit the great wonders of the world. What it truly offers is an opportunity to broaden your horizons, learn, grow, explore and become someone with greater depth and empathy. If you haven’t hopped on a plane and traveled outside the country yet, it’s easier than you think. Make sure to get your passport, do research on the country you’ll be traveling to, line up everything you need (which may include vaccinations) and then buy your plane ticket.

About the Author
Rachel Brenner is a Professor of Jewish Studies. Her research focuses on Jewish Literature and has published dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters.